Avenida 12 de Octubre 1820 y Luis Cordero, Quito, Ecuador
Quito's Swissôtel has retained its pole position in the city's five–star category by having a wide breadth of facilities and well-equipped rooms. The result is that it still retains a slight edge over its business hotel competitors outside the historic district.
Quito's Swissôtel isn't a beauty from the outside and isn't exemplary on the inside either for that matter, but is still suitably elegant and impressive despite the dated decor: vast halls of polished marble, shiny brass, twinkling chandeliers and the largest arrangements of roses you're ever likely to encounter.
The hotel's rooms are sophisticated for Quito, boasting warm colors, earth tones and thick carpets. They have ample beds with quality cotton sheets and plenty of amenities, including coffee–makers, large TVs with English channels, electronic safes, irons and ironing boards, bathrobes, and a good array of toiletries on the marble vanity in the bath. In a nice break from the business chain hotel norm, wired and wireless internet are both included in the room rates.
Over one third of the rooms here are a step up from standards, though executive level ones mainly are booked for the lounge perks. Junior Suites are larger, with room for good–sized desks and table and chairs for meeting or dining. The bathrooms in these also have wardrobe space, which the basic rooms lack. Several higher suite classes are available, with the top choices being the two Presidential Suites, both bigger than most entire apartments in town. There are also 42 executive apartments with kitchens for longer term guests.
The Swissôtel's swimming pool and spa services are regarded as the best in the city. They are reached through an appealing glassed–in patio. The pool itself has an indoor section, used a lot, plus a heated outdoor section, not used so much in this climate. The spa is atmospheric and suave, boasting no less than 80 treatments in all, including a surprising Alpine offering in a recreation log cabin complete with hay–strewn floor.
Justifiably for a hotel of this category and size, Quito's Swissotel has five restaurants spread over various floors. There's also a perennially popular café, which is mainly used for breakfasts, but still patronized throughout the day. The other offerings include one of the capital's finest sushi restaurants, Tanoshii, a deli, a contemporary and attractive Mediterranean restaurant, and the Swiss fondue spot Les Alpes. All rank highly in Quito's dining rankings, and by international standards are excellent value. When they have regular special offers, then they're a steal by anyone's standards. Stepping out, the advantage of the hotel is that it's located in Quito's finest dining district with half–a–dozen excellent restaurants within a few blocks.
The package is tied up with about a dozen art, jewelry, souvenir and lifestyle boutiques, three rooms for the handicapped, limo and shuttle service, and an on-site ATM.
Service here is not on the same level as the surprisingly efficient Swissotel Lima in Peru, but English proficiency is good at the front desk and housekeeping is exemplary. Good location, comfortable rooms, great spa, fine dining, and a decent price tag considering the offerings make the Swissôtel hard to beat. If you want to be avoid any surprises and like to have a wide array of international hotel offerings, then this is the Quito hotel for you.
Web Address: www.swissotel.com/quito/
Total Number of Rooms: 275
Published rates: $139 to $750
Review and photos by Timothy Scott